There are good days and there are days when another wretched pregnancy announcement seems impossible to stomach and the tears of frustration and envy are never far away. There are days when the adoring photo of father with baby son plastered across social media feels like a cold, hard hand slapping across the face. There are days when being sympathetic to a friend whose toddler isn’t sleeping or cooing over someone’s little one feel like an ask too many. There are days when only a punch bag or a pile of cheap plates for thrashing and smashing will fit the mood. There are days when it seems as though everyone else is popping out babies with the same ease as sneezing, whilst one’s own reproductive system seems of little use whatsoever. There are days when every word you’ve read about God feels like nothing more than a book of lies. There are days, weeks, moments when the pain of childlessness is unleashed so fiercely that no attempt at holding back the monster within will suffice…
The truth is there are days when it’s possible to accept the reality of life, to find peace and joy and fulfilment regardless of circumstances and fulfilled dreams. But there are also days when every brave smile and courageous intention evaporates at its initiation.
It would be foolish to pretend that there aren’t bad days when the longing for children – when any longing, quite frankly – is still lodged inside.
Lately, I have been reflecting on how easy it is to focus so intently on the destination, that the views along the way are almost completely ignored. It is most definitely an encouragement to hear on a Sunday from those given the microphone at the front of church as they excitedly share of how God has answered prayers, bestowed a breakthrough, or blessed with a miracle. But actually, I’m far more interested in hearing from them what it was like to survive the waiting, to navigate the moments of hopelessness and despair, and to remain faithful when everything looked impossible. So often we don’t get to hear that side of the story.
We absolutely need the testimonies of God’s goodness to remind us of His nature and ability to move in the here and now. Such offerings of joy keep hope alive and give God the glory He’s due. But we also need to be real about the struggle, about the days when we whimpered in fear and didn’t win the faith game; the days when we screamed with unrepentant passion at the injustice of being one of those who are still without.
When I dip into a bad day, I want to be surrounded by people who have built up their faith muscles because they know what it is to hang on for just a little bit longer. I want to be prayed for by those who know how to speak intimately and passionately because they chose to seek the face of the Father and they understand that nothing need be withheld in His presence. I want to learn from those who are honest enough to say they considered walking out on God ten seconds before the breakthrough happened because they were on the verge of giving up. I want to hear what it was like to be in the beginning and the middle of the story, before they got to the end.
Yes, I passionately want to be one of those stood at the front of church with the microphone, exalting God’s name because he answered my prayers, like he has done for so many others. But I want to be fearless enough to share the blood and guts of the struggle until the answer comes, to acknowledge the journey along the way, and to give honour now to the one who never lets me go no matter how difficult life feels at times.